As agency owner a regular question I ask myself is are we judged purely on the size of our company? How can we compete against bigger agencies? How do we get on the shortlist to be able to prove ourselves? I stress our commitment and skills to prospects. But after 10 years of running a small agency I’ve stopped worrying.

At PowWow Creative, we know small is better. Here’s why:

  1. Quality of service
    You get the A team every time.
  2. Value for money
    Big agencies aren’t interested in small budgets, we are!
  3. Efficiency and agility
    We’re quick to respond and nothing is lost in translation.
  4. It’s personal
    We like to see ourselves as a partner to our customers. Everyone here endeavours to know your business and has your attention.
  5. Freedom
    We are not restricted by rules, policies and politics that govern most larger agencies (I know, I used to work for one). Those constraints can inhibit creativity and delivering value.
  6. Reputation
    We already come recommended and have a strong track record. Our clients are our biggest advocates and nearly all our work comes from referrals.
  7. Commitment
    The success of your business is a BIG deal to us. You won’t find a harder working team anywhere else.
  8. Belief
    In our talent, ideas and people. We’ve seen what bigger agencies can produce and know we can match it, if not exceed it.

So the question is what do we do when a big job lands?

The A team drives the strategy, ideas and design whilst our pool of talented associates and resources means we can manage the whole process for start to finish. Small is more efficient and allows us to expand when required. We don’t seek exclusivity, but partnerships, and welcome the opportunity to work with anyone who has the same end-goal.

PowWow is a boutique creative agency specialising in B2B. From brand strategy to creative campaigns, we are committed to delivering big ideas and value. After all it’s the little things in life that make a big difference, right?

Contact us today if you want to learn more or visit powwowcreative.co.uk

P.S. Here are some inspiring stories how small things have had a big impact on the world around us: https://www.ted.com/series/small_thing_big_idea

Brand ‘purpose’ is more important than ever to B2B brands. We cover 8 ways to keep it fresh.

Do you know your mission from your vision? Your purpose from your promise? In this article I try and bring some clarity to purpose, mission, vision, and values (PMVV) definitions, why it’s important and what’s trending now.

Today more than ever, brands are realizing the importance of linking their purpose with their customers’ needs. By reviewing your brand strategy you can make sure you have an identity and messaging framework that supports your business ambitions and evolves with your customers. All adding to the reputation and commercial value of your business. But whilst having the right PMVV does have a strong correlation with improved finance performance, unless you constantly check relevance and recall, you are in danger of creating little value.

Reviewing your brand strategy can strengthen your organization on a number of levels:

  • Increase market leadership and reputation
  • Accelerate new market opportunities
  • Improve your value based selling ability
  • Influence customers buying criteria
  • Improve quality

The value in employee engagement

Your PMVV is not just about your core customer; employee engagement is just as critical and key to a successful strategy. After all, they are your most important ambassadors, who can tell you a lot about customer behaviour and perception. By fostering closer co-operation internally you create a sense of purpose.

More and more employees see the importance of the values of the business they work with matching their own. In the UK alone 74% of millennials agree with this statement. *

Here are 8 ways PowWow recommend to keep your PMVV fresh:

  1. Audit
    Keep your personas up-to-date. Conduct a competitor review to see what other organisations are saying about themselves and how they a performing.
  2. Evaluate
    Maybe a re-brand is needed, or an umbrella brand introduced? Understand the impact and risk to achieve. What is needed to evolve and when.
  3. Research
    What do customers currently think and see? Seek validation that what you think about your brand is what customers think. You may know who your customers are but do you know them?
  4. Brand Strategy
    Create or evolve your purpose, mission, vision, and values (PMVV) based on the evidence you have gathered and where you want to take the company.
  5. Activate
    Establish a communications plan to drive equity. Review and align branding with marketing and sales assets. Create a narrative that speaks your customers language.
  6. Employee focus
    Make them part of the process from the beginning. Can they recall your purpose and values when you ask them? There are great ways of “Living the brand’ and creating a sense of ownership.
  7. Brand management
    From the top down and the bottom up, the culture of your business thrives when belief is rooted throughout the company.
  8. Measure success
    Track what behavioural change you want to achieve: increase in sales; reduction in operating costs; identifying new market opportunity; client retention. Carry out customer research regularly.

What does it all mean anyway? A brief terminology checklist:

Purpose
The purpose is the WHY of the company. Why are you in the business that you’re in? What do you want to do? What do you believe? Think of your purpose from a customer-centric point of view.

Value proposition
The value proposition is the HOW you help. What makes you attractive to customers “what’s in it for me?”. Think of it as the emotional and rational benefit that customers derive in purchasing a product.

Together, the purpose and proposition statements provide a messaging platform for the brand by defining the WHY and HOW. They give context for the solutions and promises the brand makes,forming the core of your brand story.

Vision
What is the future goal of the company that is at the core of your business? Think of your vision as where you ultimately want your work to lead you.

Mission
Your mission statement, is how you put the vision into action. It’s aimed more at employees than at customers. Think of your mission as the route you’ll follow to achieve your vision and what you do for others.

The vision and mission tend to be internal statements delivered by the leadership team. It creates a sense of purpose and internal focus for employees.

Brand values
Values are emotional and rational qualities that a company wants customers to see, and employees to believe. They should be embedded into company culture. Think of values as guiding principles that your business uses to behave and act in a certain way.

Brand principles
Companies often use a brand principle to remind staff about their priorities and goals. Think of your principles as motivational statements, a declaration of desired behaviour and beliefs.

Brand promise
A brand promise is a value and benefit a customer can expect from you, one that has meaning and relevance. It enables you to deliver your brand in a way that connects emotionally with your customers and illuminates your difference. Think of it as the expectation that you live up to every time people experience your brand.

Brand positioning
Brand positioning is your elevator pitch in the mind of your customer. It contains what unique value you provide your customer and why they should believe you. Give your customers one (or two) good reasons why they should choose your offering above all others in the market landscape.

Boiler plate
Boiler plate copy is a brief, concise and factual statement that should be used again and again in communications and PR. It outlines who you are, what you do and who for. Often derived from the purpose and value proposition it should be no more than 100 words. Think of it as you calling card and make sure it contains your web address, where you operate, any awards you may have won or specific metrics that make you stand out.

Strapline
A memorable strapline should summarise what your brand stands for in just a few words. It can be descriptive or figurative, back your brand positioning and convey what you are about. Think of your strap as how you want to be remembered and differentiates yourself from others.

We’ve learnt a lot about brand strategy over time. Here’s some advice to consider when developing your brand strategy:

Future proof
We often work with M&A companies so it’s vitally important to come up with a brand strategy that has flexibility and the ability to evolve.

Buzzwords
Avoid getting out-of-date or sounding like your competition.

Momentum
Static brand strategy documents can become forgotten. Keep it alive by entrenching its content in your sales and marketing. Live the values, believe in them and don’t be vague otherwise they become lost.

Procrastination
Meaningless waffle filled with jargon makes people turn off! Be quick, smart and to the point.

Competition
Always be one step ahead and constantly see what your competition is doing (without being overly paranoid!).

Support
Don’t go it alone. Brand strategy evolves everyone to get on board. This in itself can be tricky with internal politics delaying decisions or clouding judgement. We recommend appointing an agency who can bring objectivity, provide qualified research and industry expertise.

Persistent communication
You can lose pace without a good, long-term communications plan to tell your brand story. And remember, don’t make it about you, make it about your customers. If they want to learn more about you they can look up your About us page or find you on social media.

‘Purpose’ is crucial for business success

PMVV work needs to be planned, collaborative, and consistently reviewed to ensure success. If you should do anything first then purpose is your starting point, driven by your vision and actioned by the mission.

Is now the time to review your brand?
Contact Karen at PowWow Creative if you would like to discuss further karenk@powwowcreative.co.uk

About the author

Karen Kingdom is a co-founder of PowWow Creative, a full-service creative agency. She is dedicated to supporting businesses with their brand strategy and evolvement. Find her on LinkedIn or visit powwowcreative.co.uk

The right name will get you remembered. David Robert Jones certainly thought so. When it comes to creating a new company or product name it shouldn’t just sound right but support your vision and generate genuine excitement.

So, what’s the thinking behind the naming process? Read the PowWow Creative Essential Guide to Brand Naming.

From Amazon to Zoopla…

Being original these days isn’t easy and naming a new company is no different. One of the frustrations is that more often than not URLs have been snapped up before you can even share the naming ideas. But in our experience this is part of the challenge. We get our kicks from coming up with ideas no one else has thought of before. So how do we do it?

I’m often in awe of musicians and composers who can come up with original music time after time. Well the same theory applies here. If you know your field, have gut intuition, an enquiring mind and belief in yourself (and your team) then you’ve got a formula for success.

If you want your new name to be distinctive and memorable it’s good to follow these seven golden rules:

  1. Gain valuable customer insight
    Understand the company vision, mission and values first;
  2. Don’t limit yourself
    Think outside the box, around the corners, underneath and anywhere in between;
  3. Work as a team
    Involve everyone (even your father-in-law will have an opinion), although not all will have the right answer, they may spark a winning idea;
  4. Rationalise everything
    If it has meaning it has purpose;
  5. Do your research
    Competition, trademark searches, linguistic barriers, legal checks and of course URL availability;
  6. Go wordmanic!
    The thesaurus is your best friend;
  7. Dazzle
    If you can’t be entirely original, be brilliant.

As you can see, there are many benefits for your business to use social media – from increased brand recognition to higher conversion rates – if strategized properly, your brand can potentially reap from these benefits, which in turn can help to increase your bottom line.

How we do it the PowWow way

Every journey has a beginning, middle and end. Naming a new company or product is no different. Here’s how PowWow Creative approach it.

1) Beginning – Research

Workshop
Kick-off with a workshop to capture the vision of the company and what they do. It’s also an opportunity to establish brand personality by creating a persona.

Customer and competitor review
Identify your target market and customer. What benefit are you delivering? If you are re-inventing an existing brand or evolving for a merger and acquisition, it’s always wise to conduct brand research to make sure any existing equity is preserved or managed appropriately.

Conduct a competitor review and see how others are positioning themselves in your space. Do you want to stand shoulder to shoulder or stand out?

Plan
How will the new name be used and implemented? Plan your roll-out strategy with a timeline, who’s involved and cost.

Carry out an audit of any material that needs updating such as office signage, stationery, social media, or a website. Create an internal and external awareness campaign to share your news and tell the story. If customers and staff don’t understand the benefit change brings they will be indifferent and unhelpful.

2) Middle – The creative bit

Themes
To begin with no idea is a bad idea. To focus thought we find it easier to develop themes by listing brand characteristics, functional or emotional values and list benefits.

Ideas
Generate lots of potential names – it could be mixed, randomly evolved, cut up or spelt differently. Here are some different naming conventions and examples:

PowWow Branding Naming Method

Top tip: Stuck for ideas? Think about the visual characteristics that represent your company or product? If it were an animal, colour, shape, person, drink or place.

Checks
Initial checks remove the obviously unavailable names as soon as possible so we don’t disappoint you with ideas that cannot be used. Once you have a shortlist use a legal specialist who can advise on how ‘safe’ the name is, register it as a trademark and mediate and defend you if your name is challenged.

3) End – Choosing the right name

Selection process
Sometimes it just sounds right or a creates a gut instinct. However, there is a more calculated way to choose a name from a shortlist. Grade each name from 1 to 10 using the following measures:

  • Appropriateness
  • Appearance
  • Memorability
  • Pronunciation
  • Positioning
  • Wow factor
  • Availability
  • Legality
  • Cost

Design

Congratulations, you have a new name that has passed the checks. Now it’s time to bring it to life and turn the name into an identity. Watch with pleasure as your vision becomes a reality and remember, when the name is right you never look back.

Finally…

Let PowWow Creative help you come up with your next brand or product name. We have experience in dealing with M&As, new products, re-invention, brand extensions and start-ups.

We don’t just come up with names either. We develop brand strategies, positioning, tone of voice, brand development and straplines.

To find out more email@powwowcreative.co.uk

10 great words of wisdom for a creative Director…
By a Creative Director!

  1. Set the creative standards for everyone to follow
    People need to know what the bar is and what’s expected of them. Higher is better.
  2. Inspire
    Discuss the latest ads, debate high profile logo launches, visit art galleries, circulate blog stories… all ways to help everyone find new sources of inspiration that will inevitably make the team more creative and productive.
  3. Be approachable and accessible
    Designers can be nervous or anxious to show their ideas. Always make them feel valued but do hold them accountable.
  4. Guide designers to provide the right solution
    You’re all working to the same goal. The next great idea is out there, so help designers find it. Listen to their suggestions whilst inputting from your own experience.
  5. Create a culture of honest engagement
    Be approachable and democratic. Allow anyone at any level to speak their mind, throw in an idea, or express their opinion about the work. It’s ultimately your decision, but if people feel they can be honest, you’ll have a much better culture.
  6. Be specific and constructive when you review work
    Give constructive and useful feedback. Why exactly isn’t it working? Can the idea be saved? If so, find it. If not, suggest angles and directions so the team knows where to go.
  7. Be able to save the day, but try to avoid it
    You shouldn’t have to save the day at the last minute. But just in case, make sure you’re aware of the project goals, so that you can roll your sleeves up if absolutely necessary.
  8. Award credit where it’s due
    If the work is a success, give the credit to those who did it and stay in the background. If it is rejected, take the blame.
  9. Know that everyone is different
    Pull on different skill sets. All creative people are individuals. Apply their talents in the right ways to the right assignments.
  10. Have a great account manager
    Recruit and retain someone really good to handle the organization, scheduling and budgeting. You don’t want your job to be about admin. Your focus should stay on the ideas and execution.

We hope you found our article useful? For more insight from PowWow Creative visit powwowcreative.co.uk/news-views

Sometimes when we think about social media, there can often be trepidation about how we can navigate our way through the plethora of information that is out there and if at all it is possible for us to cut through the noise to make an impact.

The good news is yes you can make an impact; however, you will require a couple of weapons on your quest:

First, you will require the tenacity and perseverance to see your plans through as social media strategies can take a little longer than expected to see the fruits of the labour – in most cases, it can take anywhere between 12-18months, to really see your progress.

Secondly you will require a robust and agile content marketing strategy as your foundation as none of the steps discussed will have the capacity to make the impact and difference on your business that you would like to see. Embarking on a social media campaign without a clear plan and intention of what is your business would like to achieve is futile without these two steps.

In a recent article by top social media platform Hoot Suite, they stated that there are 10 top benefits to using social media as a means to drive your content. These are:

  1. Build relationships
    The most important of reasons to use social media is in building deep meaningful relationships with your audience. It’s a way to create dialog and an opportunity to find out first hand what your clients are looking for and expecting from you.
  2. Gain valuable customer insight
    You have the ability to know in real time, what your customers are thinking about your products and/or services.
  3. Share content faster and easier
    When it comes to launching and promoting new products, this couldn’t be easier now, social media has the ability to reduce our route and cost to market.
  4. Increase brand awareness and loyalty
    By being on social media you increase the ways in which customers can connect with you and the more your customers can connect the more likely they are to grow in loyal.
  5. Provide rich customer experiences
    Did you know that over 67 per-cent of consumers go online for customer services? So the likelihood of your customers expecting to see you on a social platform and conversing with them and providing support is very high and would be a great way to cultivate relationships.
  6. Increase website traffic and search ranking
    Social media can have an impact on your website traffic as it not only directs people to your site, it can also affect your search ranking as if people are engaging and sharing your content, it pushes higher ranking on Google’s search engine results page.
  7. Run targeted ads with real-time results
    You can yield real time results on campaigns that you are running with very focused ads and these can be done by location, gender, age, different demographics – the possibilities are endless and you can easily track and measure the performance of your social ads in real time.
  8. Generate higher converting leads
    Social media can help to increase sales and customer retention through regular interaction, again this ties in with receiving real time insight and results.
  9. Find out what your competitors are doing
    With social media you can gain key information on what your competitors are doing and this can of Intel can allow you plan, make decisions and be “on your toes” assisting you in improving offerings, product development and content.
  10. Geo-target content
    Facebook is one of the best social media platforms that lets you find your target audience and communicate the right content to them as well as use geo-targeting to find the conversations relevant to your brand.

As you can see, there are many benefits for your business to use social media – from increased brand recognition to higher conversion rates – if strategized properly, your brand can potentially reap from these benefits, which in turn can help to increase your bottom line.

And if you would like to find out more about social media – get in touch with us email@powwowcreative.co.uk

In 2018 81% of businesses used video as a marketing tool, with 99% of businesses saying they will continue to do so in 2019.

As with social media, the use of videos as a marketing tool to roll out content has become a cornerstone of marketing plans with immense benefits. Currently, online videos have accounted for over 55% of all mobile traffic and this is set to rise to surpass 75% by 2020, therefore video marketing should not be overlooked as it can play a massive part in delivering much-needed content and vital connection to your customers.

Why would you want to use video? Well firstly, the numbers that support the use of videos (as shown above) are staggering – plus 84% of consumers say that watching videos have given them more confidence to make a purchase. Now if these figures are not already persuading you, then according to an article by Dream Grow an online and content marketing company, these following 8 reasons should give you further insight into the growing trend:

  1. Video boosts interaction, sales and conversion
    Think of it this way, sight is our most dominant of senses and most information transmitted to our brain is visual so sharing information with your customers visually is a sure fire way to grab their attention.
  2. Are a great Return On your Investment
    Even if your videos are not of the best quality or highly stylised 76% of businesses that used video last year reported that video provided a good return on investment.
  3. Builds trust with customers
    One of the main premises behind content marketing is building relationship and building trust is fundamental in this process. Videos are a great way to engage and ignite thought and emotions. Using videos to show your customers how your products and services work
  4. Increases your SEO
    Google loves video and as Google now owns YouTube this has influenced how much video affects your search engine ranking. According to Moovly an online multimedia platform you are now 53x more likely to show up on page 1 of Google if you have a video on your website. Customers are more likely to spend time on your website when you have videos and this longer exposure can lead to building trust with your customers as well as signals to search engines that your site has good content.
  5. Videos appeals to mobile users
    With over 43million mobile phone users in the UK alone, consumers can “grab and go” and not have to wait until they are sat in front of a computer to watch your content.
  6. Video can explain everything
    How to videos are the most popular videos with 79% of consumers saying that they would rather watch an explainer video to learn about a product than read text on a page, and 97% of business that use explainer videos expressing that the video has helped to increase user understanding of their product or service.
  7. Engage even the laziest of buyers
    As mentioned above, videos are a great tool for learning, and more importantly, it is easy to consume. This means that even for the people with the “busiest” lives who won’t want to be bogged down with long text heavy content, you are able to reach, connected with and engage with them.
  8. Encourage social shares
    More than 3 in 4 people would share a video with their friends/colleagues if it were entertaining. 2 in 3 would share a video if it was informative and more than 1 in 2 would share a video if it was inspirational. Therefore entertain, inform and inspire your customers and especially in the B2B space, it is even more important to bring your videos alive.

The use of video is only going to increase and you do not want to be left behind. Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you achieve your marketing goals visually: email@powwowcreative.co.uk